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Yemen leader comes to US for medical treatment

January 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Yemen's outgoing leader Ali Abdullah Saleh has been cleared to temporarily come to the United States for medical treatment, according to a senior Obama administration official.

The official said Saleh would travel to New York this week and stay until the end of February.

A rocket attack on Saleh's compound in June left him badly burned and wounded.

The move is aimed at easing Saleh's transition out of power. Officials believe his exit from the country could lower risks of disruptions to the country's Feb. 21 presidential elections. Yemen is a key counterterrorism partner.

After a 33-year rule and deadly protests against his regime, Saleh agreed last month to transfer power to his vice president.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.